FPV: My Experience and kit list (with links)

Hi All,

I was part of a thread on here the other day about an FPV package drone and it got me thinking other than the ready to fly kits usually small whoop drones it is quite a tricky task on how to start FPV so I thought that I would share my experience in venturing into FPV from a complete beginner perspective along with a list of the kit I purchased to get me started along with the cost and a link of where to get it here in the UK.

After watching countless youtube videos and reading recommendations from @Wyntrblue FPV Guide I purchased my Radiomaster TX16s and battery at a total cost of £140.21 including shipping. I chose this radio for 2 reasons 1) it is compatible with a Simulator as it has a USB C port on the top of it to connect to a PC and 2) it will grow with me into the hobby but also will be easily sellable if I found that FPV wasn’t for me.

The next thing that I purchased was a simulator and after watching more youtube videos I opted for velocidrone I used youtube to setup my TX16s with the sim and spent several hours playing with the sticks and getting used to the feel of the drones in the sim.

Next I purchased a set of goggles I opted for a set of Fat Shark Scouts at a cost of £202.92 including shipping a very good set of goggles, really small profile for a box goggle and again pretty easy to sell on if I didn’t like it. I did purchase a set of leads from amazon so that I can connect them to my PC and use them with the simulator but I really didn’t use it much so I won’t bother linking them but if anybody wants the links for them just ask.

Next I purchased a tinywhoop drone the Eachine US65 DE65 PRO from Banggood at cost of £82.93 Banggood has some crazy coupon that saved me a couple of quid. I flew this around the house and my work place to start with it was almost impossible to control but after watching one of Joshua Bardwells videos on whoop style drones I used beta flight to add a 50% scaled throttle and this made it much more manageable.

Next up I wanted to get myself out of the house and outdoors, worrying that my flying skills still wasn’t up to a good standard I didn’t want to jump straight into a full 5inch drone and end up killing myself or somebody else so I opted for the Tinyhawk Freestyle 2 at a cost of £104.87 including shipping. This drone is fantastic for beginners as it fly’s just like a 5inch drone (Or so I am told as I haven’t flown a full size 5inch quad myself yet) but this thing rips and handles the wind extremely well (in acro mode) I had a fly away the very first time I flew this drone. I was only planning on doing a quick up and down flight to check I’d put the props on correctly and the wind took it and because it was in angle mode I didn’t have enough forward pitch to combat the wind so after 40 minutes of searching for my lost tinyhawk I found it and when I got it back home I connected it to beta flight and increased the pitch in angle mode from 30 to 55 so that this won’t happen again. although I’m now flying in acro mode so this no longer matters.

and this is where I am today I currently have an iFlight Nazgul5 V2 on order from banggood as my first full size 5inch drone at a cost of £162.03.

Next on my to buy list will be a Lipo battery charger and some 4s Lipo batteries (Any recommendations would be much appreciated)

And this pretty much wraps up where I am with my FPV venture and a little bit of where it is taking me. If anybody has any questions or needs any advice on any of the kit listed above please feel free to get in touch :slight_smile:
I hope you found this useful in some way I just figured its quite a hard hobby to start out in and it is a minefield of information that is needed to actually get started so I thought that I would share my experience to hopefully help anybody else that is thinking about starting in FPV.

Many Thanks Deano.

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Isdt any you like. 4s I like “thefpv” batteries a lot from unmanned tech Ana they are my go to supplier

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Mine too although I find the stock levels always seem pretty low on stuff some times lol but definitely a fantastic company fast and efficient.

Will have a look at the chargers and batteries you reccomend once I get paid, as you can see from above it’s been a pretty expensive couple of months but 100% worth it lol

I use these lipos (out of stock at the moment, but next day delivery when in stock) and an isdt q6 pro charger. Although I think I ought to have gone for a dual charger like the ISDT D2 200w dual charger. It would have been handier.
Bear in mind you will probably have to get a dc supply for the ISDT as they don’t take mains 240. I use an old plc psu 24v 10A. Anything from 7-24 is good, but the lower the voltage, the higher the current draw.
You probably won’t use 200watts, unless you parallel charge (which I wouldn’t recommend) but get a supply that can deliver 300-400 watts to be safe (if my maths are correct :grin:)

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I use the GNB 520mah 1s batteries on my tinyhawk freestyle 2. They seem pretty solid :+1:t2:

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These look pretty solid and cheaper too:

:+1:t2: but again out of stock :rofl:

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Let me speak to Alex (umt owner and see when they are expecting more )

When UMT have no stock try…

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No rush mate, I’m skint till pay day anyways they’ll probably be back in stock by then and my 5inch hasn’t even shipped from banggood yet either so I’m in no rush just yet. Just weighing up my options :+1:t2:

Nice one steve :ok_hand:t2:

I use the same with my original Freestyle, flight times are pretty good, either that or I’m not trying hard enough.

All my five inch quads are older models (I’ve even heard them referred to as vintage), Vortex 285’s, Riot 250Pro’s, I even have some Ares Crossfires. Therefore the electrickery is not the most advanced and using batteries that can discharge the capacity of a nuclear power plant in nanoseconds would be a false economy. So I use Hobbyking’s Zippy Compact 1400mAh 60C/130C 4s packs. When HK have a sale on these can usually be bought for about £8 a piece.

For charging: 99% of the time I fly at my club’s airstrip and this is where I charge my batteries. I carry a leisure battery in the boot of my car and use a Turnigy 12Volt, four port charger (200Watts on each port). Again this was from Hobbyking and was £40 in a sale. I rarely charge my batteries at home and if I do it’s just the odd one to use during building/testing, but I use the same charger on a 13.8Volt 60Amp PSU I have left over from my amateur radio days.

Radio wise my main driver for the last seven years has been my Taranis X9D which I use the JP-4in1 module for when I have to degrade myself and use a Spektrum protocol, and an EzUHF module for long range. I’m also currently doing the wee-wee dance in anticipation of the release of ImmersionRC’s Ghost Long range (LoRa) system as sensibly priced EzUHF receivers are getting harder to find. I’m also twitching away at the “Buy Now” button on UMT’s site for the Radiomaster Masterfire package. As much as I love my Taranis it’s getting a little tired now and the screen of on the Radiomaster is more suited for some of the Ardupilot telemetry scripts I want to run.

All the above is confidential, what happens on GADC stays on GADC, as the last time my wife got wind of my future purchase plans she staged an intervention.

Nidge.

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Secret is safe with me mate lol

Yeah I love the Radiomaster TX16S it’s a fantastic radio and reasonable price for what you get. I paid the little extra for the hall gimbals and I must say they are smooth.

I must admit Lipo batteries have always scared me lol after reading the horror stories. Which is kinds why I’ve left them till last on my to buy list so that I can make sure that I get all the correct information so that I can charge and discharge them safely without burning down my house :rofl:

99.99% of the time LiPo’s are perfectly safe. Problems usually occur when you try to do something stupid, usually involving those multi_balance boards, fast charging a LiPo’s way beyond its spec, or deciding that the battery that looks like a balloon or crashed into a new and unique shape is still good.

When I first started using liPo’s I built a metal charging box with a smoke detector inside and a temperature sensor I could attach to the battery. Probably a bit overkill. Nowadays, because I don’t know what my pain levels and medication needs are from one day to the next, I charge my batteries as and when I need them at the field. By the time I’ve set my station up and built the planes I’ve brought to fly the batteries are charged and ready to go.

Nidge

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Cheers for the excellent post. Similar vein here. I’ve flown DJIs down to tiny Hubsan things and also some fixed wing but wanted to try ‘full on’ FPV. I got the same RadioMaster and got LiftOff to try as the sim. Actually got what I’d call my first ‘proper’ flight in today with the Nazgul (I’ve toned the rates and throttle right down) And did an entire battery and didn’t crunch it once! It’s a hell of a learning curve but… oh am I having fun :grin:

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If you’re learning (like me) I can 100% recommend the Emax Tinyhawk freestyle 1 or 2! It will work with your Radiomaster TX16S and flys just like a 5" :ok_hand:t2:

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Another tiny quad I can now recommend is the Eachine Twig 115.

Basic spec is it flies on 2s and 3s, the camera is the Runcam Nano2, VTX supports 25mw to 200mw. It has a built in FrSky SPI D16 receiver and this is its Achilles Heal as range is dreadful. Thankfully it comes with a pre-attached cable for your SBus receiver of choice, I’ve installed a R-XSR. Another nice and simple upgrade is to swap out the VTX for a HappyModel Diamond VTX. This has a built in DVR and is a simple straight swap, no soldering required. The only changes you’ll need to do are with the SmartAudio script in Betaflight.

Price wise I’d wait until Banggood have it discounted.

Newsflash Banggood currently have it discounted in their Chinese Warehouse. It usually sells for £103 but they currently have a flash sale and it’s priced at £64.95. I bought mine from the UK warehouse a month ago when it was on sale for £69.

If you do decide to purchase I’d highly recommend you swap the receiver as in standard form it makes the Tinyhawk Freestyle look positively long range.

Nidge.

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I do have a spare XF nano :thinking: :joy: might have to wait for the new year Xmas is killing my wallet at the moment :joy:

Personally I don’t do Xmas. Both my wife and I have birthdays both sides of Xmas day, and neither of us have any family to speak of other than my son from a previous marriage whom I do spoil rotten. So we lock the doors and draw the curtains and concentrate on each other’s birthday.

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Slight thread revival, but I thought I’d add my 2p in here too. Been following your posts with interest, Deano, as you seem to have gone down a similar path to where I’m starting out now.

I’ve been flying fixed-wing for about a year and recently got into FPV on them too. I’m friends with @DaveJaVu, outside of GADC, and he persuaded me to get a Nazgul5 a couple of weeks ago and has been helping me through a lot of the early teething problems. I’ve had a Tiny Whoop style quad for a few months and have been playing many, many hours of LiftOff.

Sadly I’ve only had 3 or 4 short outings with the Nazgul, just getting to grips with things, setting up OSD, Vtx power etc, before lockdown arrived and I’ve been pretty much grounded. I’ve ordered myself an Eachine Tyro79 3" freestyler from BG as, at £60, I feel a bit more comfortable chucking that around in a park to improve my acro skills. Also being under 250g is a bonus too. Who knows when that’s going to arrive though - deliveries from China seem to have come to an almost standstill at the moment. I’d have gone for the Emax Tinyhawk Freestyle II if I could have found anywhere in the UK with stock, but BG from China seemed like the only option so I figured I may as well get the cheaper Eachine.

Also have an AR Wing Pro on order too, but again that seems to be lost out in the sea somewhere.

I’m absolutely loving the freestyle/tricks aspect of it all in LiftOff, although I used to be quite heavily into photography (pre-kids), so am also interested in getting some fast and exciting cinematic type footage once the weather improves. Already thinking about building a 7" for that kind of stuff. Getting carried away already!

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I placed an order for the Tyro79 at the same time I ordered my second Tyro129. The Tyro129 was delivered last week but BG told me the Tyro79 is no longer in stock in the UK, though when I ordered it was showing as good stock levels. I’ve used BG for quite a few years but more recently my last five orders have all had issues, two of which I received completely different items to what I ordered and had to do the upload a video sing an dance just to show I had the wrong item.

Anywho, looking at your prior experience, @Jase_MK , you’ll be confidently whizzing around in no time.

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